Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Geek = Sucker

I am pissed off at Geek Monthly magazine. For some reason they think it's ok to punish their early adopter readers.

See, I bought the first two issues of the magazine. It wasn't brilliant literature, but it covered a lot of the kinds of things that I like, and it looked pretty slick. So I bought a subscription - $39.95 for a year, which was six isues (see, despite being called Geek Monthly, the magazine was only coming out bi-monthly). The first issue I received in my sub was issue #3. It arrived so much later than it appeared on the stands that I had already bought a copy at the store, but that's not entirely their fault, I suppose.

However, at the same time they announced that they were truly going monthly, and I immediately noticed that the new subscription price was $39.95 for 12 issues. Surely they'd give me the rate that was active when I received my first issue, right?

Issue #4 came out. Then, for no apparent reason, the next issue was considered a double issue. It was the exact same size, but numbered issue 5/6. Inexplicably, issue #7 was only given out to people who went to Comic Con, and somehow I missed it. Oh wait, apparently you can also get it with the final issue of some magazine called Rocket... but it wasn't sent out to subscribers of Geek Monthly. So the next issue I got was issue #8. Where I learned that the subscription price has now gone down to $19.95 for a year (12 issues).

Now, it's come to my attention that issue #9 came out last week. I haven't received my copy yet, and that reminded me that I should check on the status of my subscription. Tried sending an email via the link on their site marked "For questions about your subscription to Geek Monthly." The email bounced. No phone numbers listed on the site, but there is one in the magazine. So I called today.

I tell the woman on the phone my situation, and she tells me that the reason I didn't get issue #7 is: "it doesn't exist." (And yet they have the audacity to use the cover on their subscription card, above). She also informs me that my subscription is up "with the last issue." Let me recap - I've received 4 issues:

  • #3 (which I had already bought)
  • #4
  • #5/6
  • #8
For which I paid $39.95. That means I've paid $10 an issue. That's 166% of the cover price. And 625% of the current subscription price! That is completely screwed up.

Oh, she offered me the option to renew my subscription at half price - only $9.99 for another year. Are you kidding me? I explained that this was ridiculous, and they absolutely had to extend my subscription. She put me on hold for a while so she could talk it over with her manager. Eventually she came back and said that my subscription has been extended to March. "How many issues is that?" I asked. "Eight," she said, "it's a year." So... basically, I'm getting 2 extra issues (over the original six I was supposed to get).

I should have pushed this further, but I was at work, I was already having a really crappy day, I had already spent too much time on the phone with this woman, and I had to meet with people about work-related things.

So, I concede this round, Geek Monthly magazine. But I will be calling again. And you should probably keep in mind that your dissatisfied customers are exactly the kinds of people who would complain about it in their blogs.


Brian said...

Wow. Sounds like an interesting magazine but I don't know that I would subscribe given the troubles you've had.

Mirka23 said...

Yeah, I can't recommend the subscription experience. If you want to check out the magazine, it might be better (i.e., more reliable) to just buy it at the store. Though, to be honest, I haven't been all that impressed with the magazine itself, either. You'd think I should love it, since it's about all the things I like. The design and production quality is pretty high, but I haven't been all that blown away by the writing, and I also find it annoying that they seem to assume all geeks are boys.